4 minutes

If I tell you Open Source, do you see what I mean? This fantastic world where everything is accessible freely for everyone? Where the collaboration is central to all processes and allows continuous improvement?

DevOps is often associated with Open Source. And for a good reason! Combining the automation of processes with collective intelligence, you’ll make sparkles. You don’t know where to start, and which open source tools to use? We explain you all!

What is Open Source?

With the advent of computers and software development, two distinct branches have seen the light of day. We still distinguish today proprietary development from open source’s ones. But what are the differences between these two, and why where they create?

The origin of Open Source

The movement of free software was initiated by Richard Stallman in the late 1970. This movement fight against the idea of proprietary in the software world: for its supporters, software programs shouldn’t belong to a person, but at contrary be open to all for modification. According to them, it’s only like this that software programs can evolve and answer the real need and constraints of their users.

It’s only in 1988 that the term Open Source appears. Derived from the free software movement, sometimes a bit restrictive, this organization has grown to put into light the fact that software development has a price, and the freedom of the computing world doesn’t mean free of cost!

The Open Source movement gives a more realistic approach of the advantages of the free software, focusing on the benefits for the developers and leaving out political and philosophical connotations.

The value of the movement

Why siding with Open Source? Going with software born of this movement, you can gain many benefits for your projects and your teams.

📌 Reduce the costs of your projects: by using software programs requiring a low investment in money.

📌 Remain independent on the choice of your technologies: the Open Source ecosystem is huge. Furthermore, you can combine Open Source and proprietary software programs, giving you even more alternatives! You gain in flexibility.

📌 Be the master of your evolution: benefit from collaborative development and choose in which direction you want the product to evolve. You can help them innovate faster!

📌 Own the knowledge: the source code of Open Source software is accessible to anyone. Everything is fully transparent, because you can even do your bit!

📌 Cover yourself: Open Source codes are analyzed by hundreds of people, mistakes are seen and corrected quickly. Quality is even better because the code evolves continuously to adapt to the users needs.

Of course, using Open Source software requires an investment in time bigger than with proprietary software programs. You need to be in the lookout for all information about the programs you use!

Open Source and DevOps: wining combination

Now that things are straight with Open Source, let’s see which benefits DevOps can pull out from it.

Factor of flexibility for the teams

We have explained to you that Open Source is the world of collaboration, sharing and continuous improvement. All those values are also in the DevOps universe.

DevOps’ culture relies on the 5 pillars, described by the CALMS acronym. This culture promotes the sharing of information between the development and operational’s teams.

Indeed, combining DevOps and Open Source is a token of flexibility for your teams. This way, they can benefit from the continuous improvement of software programs and Open Source codes, without having to renounce to the software programs already in place!

Security: adding control to all the DevOps steps

With codes seen and seen again by hundreds of person, you can be sure that any bug was seen, analyzed and repaired in no time! You can work on quality software, more robust.

It is the same with security failures: the more the community is active behind the code or Open Source software, the less the risk is important to encounter a security rift. You can commit soundly!

Because the code is accessible and visible by anyone, the identification of possible rifts is more efficient, as well as for their correction.

Which Open source tools to choose?

There are a lot of Open source software dedicated to DevOps development. We present you here the one used and validated by our team at Go2Scale!

Source management

Git is a decentralized open source software managing versions. It follows the changes on source files, and keeps the previous ones without deleting any data.

Git allows to manage from simple to complex projects. With it, you can control all your projects thanks to a system of branch, commanded locally and independently, on your computer.

You can also clone your work files. This permits to several people working on the same project to develop locally new features, before pushing and merging them in the main branch and render them visible to all the team!

Test, continuous integration and automation of development

Using GitLab, you can manage several parts of your DevOps development. To begin with, the exchanges inside your team are simplified. The team members will find, on the same interface, the issues depending on a project, with all the commentaries linked. 

GitLab eases also continuous integration and deployment, key processes in DevOps. Thanks to CI/CD, deployments are more frequent and more reliable. Your codes are regularly and automatically tested, making them safer.

Without forgetting the final user, who is winning too! Indeed, he benefits from regular updates, and possesses a product that answers its needs!

Container manager

The mission of Docker is to offer a development predictable and efficient. How? Simply by deleting all the repetitive tasks present in all development.

Relying on Docker’s images, you can create in a few clicks containers allowing to run any of your applications. And it works no matter your work environment!

Monitoring

Last but not the least step of DevOps: the monitoring. How do you know if the tools implemented previously are working and bringing real improvements if you don’t measure it?

In our teams, we use Grafana. Combined with ElasticSearch, this open source tool give you a complete dashboard, where you can analyze, in the blink of an eye, all the improvements brought by the tool you are using.

Finally, you can also benefit from Prometheus. This software store your metrics. With it, you can easily create alarms, and look through your data using a simple request language, PromQL.

The last advice

Don’t hesitate to join us on Discord! We exchange daily with tech’s passionate, and will answer your questions on Open Source tools for DevOps.

There isn’t a magic toolbox, only tools more or less adapted to your projects. Come discuss with us to define which configuration is best suited for your goals!